Let’s talk Unicon 21 a bit

Unicon 21 is still a few weeks away, but as we have a some challenges ahead I’m preparing a few things in advance to avoid last minute surprises. Luggage of course is a big thing, just as getting there.

Getting my stuff to the USA

The first challenge is how to get my stuff over the ocean: the Unicycling World Convention and Championships are (co-)organised by Unicycling Society of America held in the USA, where I live in Europe. Based on the Uni’s I bring, I decide what competitions to participate from the huge and awesome Unicon program. Worst case was that I would bring my 19″ and “just” (yes, I know I’m ultimately privileged to go at all) do flatland, street and trials. But best case means unicycling Loop the Lake and for that I need a 29″ or preferably my 36″. But both of those biggies won’t fit a regular suitcase.

Thanks to Lisanne Boer I found a huge suitcase in Germany. This fits both my 36″ and 29″ inch, while still within weight-limits. This means that Royal Dutch KLM sees it as ‘sport luggage’ which is truly as cool as it gets. The 19″ fits our regular suitcase and will mingle with my clothing and such.

Transport in the US

People who follow me on social media (Insta, YouTube, Facebook) know that in The Netherlands my family and I do a lot by train. We live in Zwolle, which is quite central and has a big railway hub. Our city has direct connections to most other bigger cities in the country and it takes one change to travel to half of Germany, France, Austria and even England. We love the train, so that was also our first option in the US.

But oops: no trains available. See the map for some rail-comparrison between the USA and Europe. It’s crazy.

There is a bus-system and almost every city has an airport. Heck, even most bigger villages can be reached by plane. As cool as that sounds, it’s expensive and inflexible. So we will be doing the trip from the airport to Unicon by car.

Education

Unicon 21 is organised in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. It’s a city with apx. 17.000 inhabitants. The photos and movies from the region look absolutely stunning, but when the name of the place was first announced, everyone around me said: “Where the heck is that?” and “Never heard of it”. Not everyone was in the dark though, as my dad realised that one of his favourite writers is from that city.

Kent Nerburn writes about people and planet, from the perspective of the First Peoples. The books contains a lot of tribal wisdom, traditions and (brutal) history. Popular titles here are: Dancing with the gods, Neither wolf nor dog, The wolf at twilight, The girl who sang to the buffalo and Chief Joseph.

The past couple of months we have covered a lot of history, especially about the First Peoples. We studied Nations from early on till today. I researched a lot and we watched a lot of documentaries like A Thunder-Being Nation and some other very informative docs. We also watched movies like Neither wolf nor dog and Bury my heart at wounded Knee.

And I still have a long list to research. And I hope that there will be some time to visit some special places. So yes, I’m all prepared and hyped up, eager to visit that lovely region.

Btw, it’s my second trip to the USA. The first time I was almost three and still didn’t have a clue about unicycles. But my dad had to do some work in the Northeast, meaning we spent close to six weeks in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. It was fall, so pumpkins everywhere. And fire hydrants. Maybe I do a blog about that later :)

Laat een reactie achter